February 9th, 2015
Sorry for the lack of blog posts! We have been busy though. I'll quickly cover some of the biggest changes we've made in the past few months.
Most of what we've been doing is for general stability. Many bugs have been fixed and minor changes made to help various workflows. There's a great desire to race ahead and adds tons of new features, but staying on top of these kinds of fixes is really important and worth the effort.
Another time sink has been proper documentation for how to use Spine. We are proud to present the Spine User Guide. It's organized so it can be read from start to finish without getting ahead of itself and covers literally everything about using Spine.
Spine has always been a bit of a CPU hog. Unlike a typicaldesktop app, Spine is written like a game using OpenGL -- it has a game loop and renders at 60 frames per second. This, along with our custom UI toolkit, allows us to develop in ways that would be difficult with the typical approach to desktop UIs. The downside is a lot of rendering is done, even when nothing or very little changes. Spine is now smart about when it renders, giving all the benefits of being written like a game but without high CPU usage. Your laptop battery will appreciate it.
Spine now has a much improved command line interface. You can export Spine projects to JSON, binary, images, or video and you can run the texture packer, all from the command line. This enables scripts and build servers to do exports and texture packing.
We've come a long way from our first Kickstarter, yet we were still using that old video on the homepage! We've now updated the trailer video to show off the latest Spine features and to showcase some of the amazing games being built using Spine. Jump to the homepage and check it out!
Fixes are great, but we are also planning to release many new features soon. We're especially anxious to make more use of the view system added in Spine 2.0. So far we've added a new
Timeline view, which shows the transport buttons and timeline just like the dopesheet. This view allows the dopesheet to be used for the full height of the Spine window without putting the timeline out of reach.
On the runtime side of things, almost all of the runtimes are up to date with the latest editor features. Corona is yet unable to render meshes, but the Corona guys are working on that. LÖVE can render meshes, but hasn't been updated to do so yet. All the other runtimes are up to date and work great with IK, meshes, weights, bone flipping, etc.
There has been quite a bit of activity for the Spine Unity runtime, mostly thanks to our colleague at XDTech, Mitch. Among many other things, shadows work properly with flipping, and normal maps can result in amazing lighting. Also new is that the Spine runtime can convert a Spine skeleton into native Unity GameObjects and animations. This allows you to rig your skeleton in Spine, then use it in Unity with Mecanim and the other Unity features.
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